Unions are largely government creations-products of special privileges and government compulsion. Take away their special privileges, treat them like everyone else, and most unions-public and private-would shrivel and die.
That's how Dr. Morgan Reynolds sees it in "Cause and Effect on Public Sector Unionism: An Economic Analysis." He's associate professor of economics, Texas A & M University. And he recommends abolishing all special union privileges, putting them under the same laws that govern all other individuals and groups. "In other words," he says, "treat individual workers, worker organizations and union officials as responsible adults rather than as children who deserve exemption from the ordinary rules of peaceful conduct."
Reynolds' proposal appears in this issue of the Government Union Review. He also discusses economic and political sources of union power, especially public sector union power, and how to get the militant union movement under control.
Unions keep pushing for more and more special legal privileges, says Reynolds. Such privileges should not be given to any union, especially government employee unions, he says.
"Government has created strong unions, and now it can't control them. The remedy is not to repress them, but to go to the source of the problem-abolish their special privileges. What the state has granted to labor unions, it can take away," he says.